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Making Repairs and Rebuilding Wisely Following July’s Storm Damage in Kentucky

FEMA Press Releases - Fri, 09/25/2015 - 10:45

FRANKFORT, Ky. – As important as it is to make home repairs as soon as possible following a natural disaster, it is also important to take some time to plan the project, consult with local officials and choose a contractor wisely.

Before You Start:

  • Contact the local permitting office. Follow all local and state requirements.  
  • Check with your local building official to make sure your work is safe and meets all local and state codes and requirements.

How to Help Reduce Future Damage:

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Categories: Federal News

Hepatitis B-like Virus Found in Great Lakes Fish Species

USGS Newsroom - Fri, 09/25/2015 - 09:06
Summary: A hepatitis B-like virus has been found for the first time in fish. A team of USGS researchers found the virus in white sucker from the Great Lakes Region using gene-sequencing technologies

Contact Information:

Cassidy  Hahn ( Phone: 304-724-4482 ); Luke  Iwanowicz ( Phone: 304-724-4550 ); Hannah Hamilton ( Phone: 703-648-4356 );

A hepatitis B-like virus has been found for the first time in fish. A team of USGS researchers found the virus in white sucker from the Great Lakes Region using gene-sequencing technologies.

How the recently discovered hepatitis B-like virus is transmitted between fish is not yet understood, and it is unlikely to be communicable to humans.

“To date, a hepatitis B virus has never been found before in fish and we now have evidence that it infects fish in geographically distant river systems in the Great Lakes region,” said lead author Cassidy Hahn, a USGS scientist and graduate student at the University of West Virginia. “This new virus is similar, but also very different from hepatitis B-like viruses found in mammals and birds, and may be a new genus.”

The hepatitis B virus is a small, spherical, enveloped virus, previously known only in two groups--one that infects humans and other mammals including orangutan, gibbons, gorillas and chimpanzee; and the other that infects birds.

The white sucker is considered an indicator species, which is native to river systems in the Midwestern and Northeastern United States. Their widespread distribution and life-history have made them a target species in numerous contaminant monitoring and effects studies. White sucker are bottom feeders, spending most of their lives in close proximity to the bottom of rivers, because of this they are in contact with contaminants associated with the river bottom.

The DNA of an organism is like a recipe book for making all of the proteins necessary for life. Those instructions are coded as genes and are conveyed to protein making factories in the cell via messenger ribonucleic acid molecules. In order to develop tools to evaluate how these fish were utilizing their DNA (responding to their environment), the RNA from liver tissue was sequenced using contemporary high throughput RNA-sequencing methods. This approach allows for decoding the usage of this blueprint.

In general, hepatitis-B viruses have a narrow host range and infection manifests in various ways. In mammals, these viruses infect and multiply in liver cells and are typically associated with acute and chronic liver diseases including fibrosis, cirrhosis, bile duct cancer, and hepatocellular carcinoma. It is estimated that 350 million people are chronically infected with HBV. Hepatitis B viruses in birds are not normally associated with these liver diseases. The potential effects on fish are currently unknown.

According to the research team, the hepatitis “B-like” virus found in the fish is about as similar to the human hepatitis B virus as it is to the bird hepatitis B viruses.

“This new virus may improve our understanding of the evolutionary history of hepatitis B-like viruses,” said USGS biologist Luke Iwanowicz, study coauthor.  “There have been considerable scientific efforts focused on identifying the origins of hepatitis B -like viruses. The genome of this new virus has features not present in any known virus from this family. It is a very exciting discovery.”

According to the researchers, the study may offer the opportunity to develop a new model system to investigate host – pathogen interactions and benefit human medical research.

Part of a joint U.S. Fish and Wildlife/USGS Great Lakes Initiative Project, the study, Characterization of a Novel Hepadnavirus in the White Sucker (Catostomus commersonii) from the Great Lakes Region of the USA, by Cassidy M. Hahn, Luke R. Iwanowicz, Robert S. Cornman, Carla M. Conway, James R. Winton, and Vicki S. Blazer is available in the Journal of Virology online.

FEMA Registration Deadline of October 6 Nears

FEMA Press Releases - Thu, 09/24/2015 - 18:58

PINE RIDGE, S.D. – The Oglala Sioux Tribe and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are reminding those impacted by the May 8-29 storms that the deadline to register for disaster assistance is right around the corner.  The deadline date is October 6. 

Registration is the first step to receiving disaster assistance.  Individuals can register in person at the Disaster Recovery Center at the SuAnne Big Crow Recreational Center, 1 Positive Pl. - E HWY 18, Pine Ridge. The DRC is open Monday thru Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

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Categories: Federal News

Hurricane Rita In Texas: 10 Years Later

FEMA Press Releases - Thu, 09/24/2015 - 15:16

DENTON, Texas – Texas faced multiple challenges in September 2005. Hurricane Rita made landfall in the state while it was also housing and sheltering Hurricane Katrina evacuees who were displaced less than a month earlier.
More than $1 billion in federal disaster assistance has fueled Texas’ recovery efforts in the last decade. The assistance includes funds to repair and rebuild infrastructure, housing for disaster survivors and mitigating against future disaster events.

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Categories: Federal News

Aransas County, Texas Flood Maps Become Final in February

FEMA Press Releases - Thu, 09/24/2015 - 15:14

DENTON, Texas ––In mid-February, new flood maps for Aransas County will become effective and be used for rating flood insurance policies. Local, state and federal officials encourage residents to view the maps before Wednesday, February 17, 2016, in order to understand their flood risk and then consider buying flood insurance.

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Categories: Federal News

Revised Preliminary Flood Maps in St. Mary Parish in Louisiana Ready for Public View

FEMA Press Releases - Thu, 09/24/2015 - 15:12

DENTON, Texas –Homeowners, renters, and business owners in St. Mary Parish, Louisiana are encouraged to review newly revised preliminary flood maps to determine their flood risks and make informed decisions.

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Categories: Federal News

Public Invited to Comment on Flood Maps for Rogers, Tulsa and Wagoner Counties in Oklahoma

FEMA Press Releases - Thu, 09/24/2015 - 15:06

DENTON, Texas – After working together for months to create new preliminary flood maps, officials from Rogers, Tulsa and Wagoner counties and communities, as well as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) now want to hear from the public.

Homeowners, renters and business owners in these three counties are encouraged to review the preliminary flood maps to understand where flood risks have been identified. Anyone who has comments or who would like to file an appeal has until December 7, 2015 to submit them.

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Categories: Federal News

Drop Off Location for Household Hazardous Waste and Large Appliances from Typhoon Soudelor Cleanup

FEMA Press Releases - Wed, 09/23/2015 - 13:44

SAIPAN, CNMI – Only two days remain for Typhoon Soudelor survivors to drop off household hazardous waste, large appliances (white goods) and electronics at Kobler Air Field.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the CNMI Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality worked together to provide this option to people who lost such goods to typhoon damage. Residents can bring their household hazardous waste, white goods and electronics that were damaged by Typhoon Soudelor to the old Kobler Air Field on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 25 and 26, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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Categories: Federal News

Traffic advisory for Delaware Seashore State Park Saturday, Sept. 26 during MS Society’s “Bike to the Bay” fundraiser

DNREC News - Wed, 09/23/2015 - 12:32
LEWES (Sept. 23, 2015) – Delaware Seashore State Park will host the annual MS Society’s “Bike to the Bay” fundraiser Saturday, Sept. 26, requiring a rerouting of traffic entering and leaving the park from late morning through mid-afternoon, DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation announced today.

Invasive Silver Carp Respond Strongly to Sound

USGS Newsroom Technical - Wed, 09/23/2015 - 12:30
Summary: Silver carp, a species of invasive Asian carp, demonstrated a strong aversion to certain noises during a recent study on the potential use of sound for silver carp control Could Noise Help Protect the Great Lakes Basin?

Contact Information:

Mark Gaikowski, USGS ( Phone: 608-781-6221 ); Alan Mensinger, UMD ( Phone: 218-260-9641 ); Marisa Lubeck, USGS ( Phone: 303-202-4765 );

Silver carp, a species of invasive Asian carp, demonstrated a strong aversion to certain noises during a recent study on the potential use of sound for silver carp control.

Scientists with the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) and the U.S. Geological Survey recently studied silver carps’ reaction to sound at the USGS Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center (UMESC) in La Crosse, Wisconsin. The researchers found that silver carp reacted strongly to complex noises such as underwater recordings of boat motors, consistently swimming away up to 37 times in succession. The results are published in the journal Biological Invasions.

“Silver carp threaten many waterways in the Great Lakes basin by competing with native species,” said USGS UMESC Director Mark Gaikowski. “Understanding silver carp behavior is critical for determining effective techniques to minimize the ecological and economic damage of this invasive species.”

Brooke Vetter, a UMD graduate student and lead author of the report, positioned speakers at both ends of outdoor concrete ponds. She compared the carps’ response to pure tones, which sound like a dial tone, to their response to more complex noises. The fish adjusted to the pure tones, never swimming away more than two consecutive times, but continuously responded negatively to complex sound.

“Our complex noise findings suggest that certain sounds could be used to divert silver carp away from strategic points on waterways or herd them into nets,” Vetter said.

Results from this study have provided the foundation for the UMD, USGS and Illinois Natural History Survey to conduct field trials testing the efficacy of complex noise as a silver carp control tool in the Illinois River.

Silver carp are reshaping river ecosystems through competition with native fish and mussels for the plankton that form the base of aquatic food webs. In regions of the Illinois River where carp populations are the most abundant, carp account for a large percentage of the river's biomass.

Silver carp also present a danger to boaters because fish as large as 20 pounds can jump 10 feet out of the water, causing injury and damaging boats.

More information about silver carp research is available on the USGS UMESC, UMD, Asian carp sound research project and websites.

Last Day to Request a Review of Hurricane Sandy Flood Insurance Claims is Three Weeks Away

FEMA Press Releases - Wed, 09/23/2015 - 11:44

Three weeks remain for National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) insurance policyholders to submit their Hurricane Sandy Claims for review by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The last day to submit claims is Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015.

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Categories: Federal News

Delaware adopts date changes in recreational black sea bass season

DNREC News - Wed, 09/23/2015 - 11:18
DOVER (Sept. 23, 2015) – DNREC Secretary David Small has signed a Secretary’s Order that formally adopts an open season for Delaware’s recreational black sea bass fishery that ran May 15 through Sept. 21, and from Oct. 22 through Dec. 31. The changes keep Delaware’s tidal finfish regulations consistent with final federal recreational black sea bass season regulations published in June.

Federal Aid Programs for the State of California Declaration

FEMA Press Releases - Tue, 09/22/2015 - 22:53

Following is a summary of key federal disaster aid programs that can be made available as needed and warranted under President Obama's disaster declaration issued for the State of California.

Assistance for Affected Individuals and Families Can Include as Required:

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Categories: Federal News

President Declares Disaster for California

FEMA Press Releases - Tue, 09/22/2015 - 22:52

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency announced that federal disaster aid has been made available to the State of California and ordered federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area affected by the Valley Fire on September 12, 2015, and continuing.

The President's action makes federal funding available to affected individuals in Lake County.

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Categories: Federal News

“Arts in the Estuary” celebration set for Sept. 26 at St. Jones Reserve

DNREC News - Tue, 09/22/2015 - 17:00
DOVER (Sept. 22, 2015) – The Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve (DNERR) is holding “Arts in the Estuary,” an event celebrating National Estuary Day, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 26 at St. Jones Reserve, 818 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover

Federal aid to Saipan passes $25 million

FEMA Press Releases - Tue, 09/22/2015 - 12:17

SAIPAN, CNMI – Federal aid to Typhoon Soudelor survivors on Saipan has passed $25 million.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved just over $20 million in Individual Assistance to households on the island, and the U.S. Small Business Administration has approved nearly $5.9 million in low-interest disaster loans to Saipan homeowners, renters and businesses.

FEMA provides grants while SBA lends money at below-market rates to survivors.

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Categories: Federal News

FEMA Rebuilding Experts to Provide Advice in Saipan

FEMA Press Releases - Tue, 09/22/2015 - 12:07

SAIPAN, CNMI – Typhoon Soudelor survivors on Saipan can learn how to build or rebuild to reduce the likelihood of damage the next time disaster strikes. Federal Emergency Management Agency Mitigation experts know how and are sharing.

FEMA Mitigation specialists are at the following location to discuss specific ways to rebuild with anyone who stops by. They will have free booklets and pamphlets with more details on how to rebuild.

The first in a series will be:

Tuesday, Sept. 22, through Sunday, Oct. 4:


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Categories: Federal News

Vehicle flips into C&D Canal; reckless driving charge for Dover man

DNREC News - Tue, 09/22/2015 - 12:06
ST. GEORGES (Sept. 22, 2015) – DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers responding to a report Tuesday afternoon of an overturned vehicle in the C&D Canal found a 2004 Honda Accord that had run off a dirt road, striking a telephone pole then crashing over riprap along the canal banks before ending up partially submerged in the canal.

Delaware State Parks honored as top state parks system in nation by winning NRPA gold medal

DNREC News - Tue, 09/22/2015 - 11:18
DOVER (Sept. 22, 2015) – The American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration (AAPRA), in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), has announced that DNREC’s Division of Parks and Recreation (Delaware State Parks) has won the 2016 National Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management in the state parks systems category.

Little Mill Creek flood reduction project completed in Wilmington

DNREC News - Mon, 09/21/2015 - 16:11
WILMINGTON (Sept. 21, 2015) – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper, DNREC Secretary David Small, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Philadelphia District Commander Lt. Col. Michael Bliss, and New Castle County Executive Thomas Gordon were joined by state legislators and members of the local business community to celebrate the completion of the Little Mill Creek Flood Risk Management project in Wilmington.